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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  April 8, 2011 3:00am-4:00am EDT

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think of what this guy, donald trump, could be doing if he put his mox toe good use and talked about something important, like how to avoid what looks a lot like to americans an american economic reset right now downward. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts right now. harry reid and john boehner return to the white house tonight to try and stop a government shutdown. and finally, republicans admit what they are fighting for isn't money. >> there is no agreement on the policy issues that are contained with it.
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>> the only thing, the only thing, holding up an agreement is ideology. >> it's not about the money. democrats compromise on spending, but republicans are now fighting over social issues. speaker boehner and senator reid already met with the president for an hour and 20 minutes this afternoon. boehner said publicly today, there is no agreement on a number, but multiple sources reported that republicans and democrats are somewhere between 35 and 39 billion dollars in cuts. the issue that could shut down the government is the policy riders.
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around the clock in order to see if we can finally close a deal. but there is still a few issues that are outstanding. they are difficult issues. they are important to both sides. and so i am not yet prepared to express wild optimism. but i think we are further along today than we were yesterday. washington couldn't get its act together is unacceptable. so again, 800,000 federal workers and their families impacted. millions of people who are reliant on government services not getting those services. businesses, farmers, veterans,
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and finally, overall impact on the economy that could end up severely hampering our recovery and our ability to put people back to work. that's what's the at stake. that's why it's important to the american people. that's why i'm expecting that as a consequence of the good work that's done by our staffs tonight, that we can reach an agreement tomorrow. but let me just point out one last thing. what i've said to the speaker and what i've said to harry reid is, because the machinery of the shutdown is necessarily starting to move, i expect an answer in the morning. and my hope is that i'll be able to announce to the american people some time relatively early in the day that a shutdown has been averted, that a deal has been completed, that has very meaningful cuts in a wide variety of categories, that helps us move in the direction of living within our means. but preserves our investments in things like education and innovation, research that are going to be important for our long term competitiveness. >> the president just moments
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front of me by 100 yards. president obama really wants to get this deal done. what i am getting told is that the numbers are going to between $34.5 billion and $39 billion for the rest of the fiscal year. probably toward that 34.5 number. the hang up is that we have been speaking about all night is writers, specifically those that have to do with abortion. if you look at all these issues we have gone through, health care and now the shutdown, both come down to the 11th hour because of abortion. it is the issue that you are either for it or against it.
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there is not a lot of leeway. you really see those passions come to fruition tonight in a spending bill. republicans passed two things in their bill that cut $61 billion in regards to abortion. no federal funds for planned parenthood and banning the district of columbia from using their funds from providing abortion services. a lot of democrats -- fought that does not allow for any abortion. what you see now is an effort by house republicans not to allow any type of private money from organizations that receive federal funds to go toward assisting an abortion. last time around president obama was able to issue a proclamation saying that no federal funds would be used for abortion. nothing you can do right now in
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that realm as far as spending. we have to see moving forward what can be done to placate that issue. all sorts of theories out there. they will allow abortions to be banned in d.c. and water down the planned parenthood one. no one really knows. we do know that it is more about the policy writers and social issues we have been fighting for than it is about the money. there are two sites that have narrowed. if you look at it, democrats want zero, republicans want 61. they will most likely get more than half. they have won the spending fight. this is what they ask for it. they will get that. when it comes to the writers, that is where they are holding their grounds. we will see what gets worked out here. >> richard wolfe, harry reid saying that the differences are extremely, extremely narrow. president obama saying they have narrowed their differences.
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john making no statement. that probably actually do have something that day in the room are calling a deal and now has to do you bring that back to the house of representatives. that is why he is not saying anything about it tonight. the first thing he has to say to it is to present something to them and see if what he has negotiated is acceptable enough to them that he can then deliver a vote. what is your sense of where this actually stands at this point? >> i totally agree with you. this is not about negotiating but whether jan boehner can deliver the deal. that is why you are hearing in some ways conflicting analysis from harry reid saying the differences are very narrow and the white house saying we will not be optimistic because these deals fall apart if you cannot deliver them. in the end, this is about house republicans who said they would deliver jobs when they weren't the majority.
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it has come down to the job of one man, gm -- john boehner. he does not really have a job because you could have sympathy for the guy if he weren't actually cutting money from so many needed programs here, but in the and if he does not deliver the deal now, there will be a deal whether it is weak one or for five of a shutdown that will look just like this. does he carry the people with him? does he have that position or not? like the israelis and palestinians, we know what it looks like but whether they can bring their people along. >> alex, what luke is saying about abortion being something that can do real someone like this, also what harry reid would call an extremely narrow difference. the funding of planned parenthood, can the funding of the entire united states government really turn on how much money planned parenthood gets for its services?
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that may be where we are. >> amazing when you look at what patting marine was saying earlier. unbelievable it has come down to this issue. >> we will hear from senator murray later on in the show. >> this is not over. we are looking at a 2012 budget fight that will be a slob. i think john boehner understands that. you have to take this to the edge of the table in order to appease the far right, which is to 70 per years and the old established republicans. at the same time, he knows he will have to reserve some firepower for a much bigger, broader fight for the 2012 budget. paul ryan has put that out there as a way to restore power. in order to stay with that optimistic line of being american back, they cannot have the blood of 800,000 furloughed workers on their hands. go into a government shutdown does not give them -- does not put them in a very good
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position. >> i do not like to come to this table with sympathies for john boehner's plight. the problem he is facing, i think we can all agree, he may be able to agree to something in a room, that he may not be able to get an agreement tomorrow on capitol hill to then make something happen here. what is the number, what do you think the number of republican votes john penner has to get to be able to say the republicans are really participating in this agreement? there is some version of this where you could pass 45, 50 republicans. the rest of democrats in the house. if that happens, is that the end of john boehner as speaker? >> you are putting your finger on it. are we getting to a governing majority that is something that can pass a budget. >> it was pivot it just isn't a republican. >> or are we talking about the
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majority of the majority. he is worried about his job more than the jobs of so many federal workers and people to run the country. he needs well north of half of his caucus. he can say, as he likes to say today, there is no daylight between him and the tea party. anything south of that looks bad for him. richard wolf makes the piece analogy, which would make boehner and the yasser arafat of tea party practices. the title that you get from been there when the thing starts, when the session starts but also a role. what we see over the several days and down to the wire is that he isn't as good in his role or be able to deliver. he is not in a strong bargaining position even though they are getting what they want, cutting a lot of the central services. >> have you heard from sources on the hill what the boehner number is as far as republican votes they need to have?
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>> he would like to have 218 republican votes. the last temporary, short-term bills, 54 republicans defected, the ultraconservatives and to pack -- tea party members. when the tea party came into power, a lot of folks that these freshmen are of the gop leadership will be able to bring them into the tent and take them over and it will be business as usual. the older conservatives, they have essentially taken these tea party guys and have now been given new life and our according to these stances they have had for years and are being the last people drawn to a compromise. a lot of them, and mike pence said that yesterday, would be more than happy to shut down the government in order to stand tall in his conservative
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principles. you see these old folks being imported having been here for so long. done just -- john boehner has the caucus meeting tomorrow. he has been cheered at the last three caucus meetings he has had. one yesterday he was brought to tears by the amount of support he got from his members. the freshmen are quite supportive of him. some republicans up here think he wants to take it to the end. don't forget about the debt ceiling, another issue we will see. >> richard wolfe, michele bachman was on fox news earlier tonight. she said this earlier that she would vote against this because it will not have everything she wants. she seems very open to the idea, pass it, get it done. move on to the big fight.
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is that ultimately the argument that boehner will have to use it in water to move this in the house? >> yeah, it is. this is round one. there is 2012, the debt ceiling, also the bank that paul ryan has set up an apparent about long-term deficits. we will not get over this any time soon. it plays into the hands of the presidential field. ultimately this debate has got to be resolved by someone trying to take this debate to a national level. unfortunately for michelle bachman, you are not going to have a republican debate that reaches out to independents. that is where the president and john penner are talking trying to reach out or just dealing with a base while the republican presidential candidates are just thinking about the primaries. this debate will not go very far. if you are john boehner, you say this is the best deal you can do.
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you'll come back and see what we can do later. that doesn't really give the white house any way. if they have given up just this much, what do they give up next time? >> thank you, team. thank you very much tonight. >> thanks, lois. >> thank you. >> donald trump is afraid to run because he is not as rich as he pretends to be cared he knows he will be the first one fired. he should be the next tv star fired now that he has become nbc's charlie sheen. the republicans will tell you that americans want them to defund planned parenthood. which americans are they talking about? you will see them. they are in tonight's rewrite. l? you think i have allergies? you're sneezing. i'm allergic to you. doubtful, you love me. hey, you can't take allegra with fruit juice. what? yeah, it's on the label. really?
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the president, the speaker of the house and the senate majority leader, can they make a last-minute deal on the budget and stop the federal government from shutting down? what did teapoy republicans want to do more? cut the budget or destroy plante. ? later, if any other republicans said what jumbotron said this morning, he probably would be cast aside as on stable. the really scary thing is the extreme way of the republican agreeing with him, and nbc continues to employ him. yogoexta horound power air? the statue of liberty?
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policy riders that republicans attached to the budget bill that passed the house of representatives in february and then was defeated by the senate could be the final sticking points in budget negotiations that are bringing the government to the brink of a shutdown. the over 50 riders include things like prohibiting funding for fruits and vegetables for schoolchildren. the obama white house senate majority leader harry reid and republican house speaker john boehner are still negotiating the two most important riders that prohibit funding for planned parenthood and clean air regulation. >> they made the decision to shut down the government because they want to make it harder, for example, for a woman to get a cancer screening. do they really want to shut down the government because the tea party doesn't want scientists to make sure the air we breathe is clean and pure? this is an extreme agenda that
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has nothing to do with a funding bill. >> joining me now is ezra klein, columnist for "the washington post." thank you for joining us tonight. >> good evening, lawrence. >> could you take us on a tour of the republican riders that they are trying to get into this deal and what those riders actually would do? >> i would be happy to. so there are a number of dozen of them, a ton of them are environmental in nature. not allowing the environmental protection agency to regulate carbon to not allowing money to florida to enforce clean water laws. and they get weirder from there. there's a law not allowing the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms to collect information on people who are buying a lot of shotguns and rifles at once. there is a planned parenthood rider. there are riders on the health care law. there are riders and riders and riders to the point that this bill, this negotiation, is really no longer about the dollar amount which the two sides are very close on, but
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about almost every other policy issue that washington deals with in the course of a year. >> is there a single rider or a set of riders that john boehner absolutely has to be able to bring back to his caucus or he won't be able to pass a bill? >> it's become the epa and planned parenthood. one thing we should begin to point out, because this is what people are telling me all over town this is now as much about the policy as it is about shadow boxing. it's as if they are trying to -- the two sides are trying to show that they will not be the one in the next year or two years that loses negotiations like this one, because they expect there to be more. so it isn't really just about the epa or planned parenthood. those things are important to people on both sides of the aisle. it's about showing that the republicans for boehner or the democrats for reid and obama will not be in the loser's seat, that they will be able to hold firm and win these types of negotiations going forward.
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so that's part of why this has become so hard. they are trying to set the tone for the next couple of years. >> it sounds inconceivable to me based on what i have heard chuck schumer say on this show, based on what we know to be democratic party politics. that the president and the democrats could go along with a de-funding of planned parenthood. are we getting to the point here where tomorrow night it could be the funding for planned parenthood that shuts down the government? >> it would be shocking. the thing, though, that people will tell you if you talk to them long enough is they are very creative and to some degree gimmicky solutions. if you remember the health care law, there was a big fight about abortion and the ex-changes and we ended up with a compromise where you parceled off federal money. the insurers have to certify it's not going to abortions. i have heard people suggest you could have something like that, where planned parenthood still gets money but it has certain conditions attached to it. they have to use other money to support activities related to choice.
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so i do expect at the end of the day we'll end up with things that are somewhere in the middle and leave no one quite satisfied. >> well, that's already the structure of funding for planned parenthood as it stands, within federal government funding, is that it's segregated money. it can't be used for anything that might be in some way by planned parenthood used to affect abortion services in any way. there's so much else that planned parenthood does that has absolutely nothing to do with that, that is absolutely crucial service to so many people out there who don't have easy and regular access to physicians for reproductive health and for other issues. and it's such a tiny, tiny, tiny number, ezra, as you and i know. there are so many things that are strange about planned parenthood being the thing that shuts down the government tomorrow night. including the tiny amount of money this is in the federal budget. >> and as you say, there are already laws on the books about this. the idea would be to even somehow make them stronger so people feel like they have a win.
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what struck me about your interview with congressman graves is maximum cuts. 88% of the budget the republicans have not wanted to look at. and republicans have said no, absolutely not. the idea that we are at anything like a maximum of cuts. these cuts are not about the money anymore. they don't matter in the scheme of budget anymore, and you could make it up elsewhere so far as the deficit is concerned, a dollar is a dollar is a dollar. the problem now has simply now to do with the fight. and it's not easy to back down from. >> the maximum amount of cuts in this tiny corner of the budget. ezra klein of "the washington post," thank you for joining me tonight. >> thank you. five protesters were arrested this morning chanting defund planned parenthood. why some can't separate the fight over the budget to their plans to defend planned parenthood. that's ahead in "the rewrite." and donald trump tells meredith viera he has people on the
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ground investigating barack obama in hawaii. he is surely lying about that, which is something he does every time he talks about barack obama. we'll discuss the vile lies of nbc's biggest primetime star.
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still to come on the program, the republicans are listening to these people. they would rather have a
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government shutdown than continue to allow women access to health care. that's in the "rewrite." and fox news had to dump glenn beck when his obama hatred went too far. how far will nbc let their primetime star go before the network says donald, you're fired? [ female announcer ] can you define radiant skin? glowing. smooth. flawless. [ female announcer ] aveeno positively radiant with active naturals soy now treats all five factors of radiance; tone, texture, blotchiness, dullness and brown spots. that's positively radiant. only from aveeno. nice. oh... oh! oh!
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i can't just wash it away. killing it takes clinical strength. i only use lotrimin ultra. its powerful formula can even cure severe cases of athlete's foot. nothing cures better. lotrimin ultra. the killer cure. time for tonight's "rewrite." a final sticking point in the budget agreement has been the fight over the funding for planned parenthood, as we've been discussing tonight. today, members of a small group who call themselves the society for truth and justice were arrested in the hart senate office building near one of harry reid's offices. they sat on the floor, all five of them, with arms linked together and blocked the hallway, which was enough to get them arrested by capitol police for unlawful assembly, but not
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before they yelled phrases like, harry reid is a killer, and defund planned parenthood. >> dufend planned parenthood! no compromise! defund planned parenthood! no compromise! >> let's tell harry reid -- harry reid wants to take the social issues out of the budget. that's what we stand for, harry reid! take the funding of the criminal syndicate planned parenthood out of the budget! >> the group's spokesman, and no, i won't do him the honor of saying his name, said -- i would like to be able to rewrite that person's understanding of planned parenthood, but the members of that group live beyond the reach of reason. they are zealots. and they are few. but they are powerful.
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there are only five of them, five, but their voices are controlling the budget negotiations conducted by the president of the united states. there is nothing anyone can say that would help them see planned parenthood more clearly and in the minutes that remain in this segment tonight, i am not the best person to clarify what the value of planned parenthood really is, and what we would lose by defunding it. not after patty maury got her turn at the microphone in the senate press briefing room today. >> i am really stunned, and i am angry as a woman that we have come to this after weeks of negotiating on numbers where we have a principle in agreement on numbers, that there are those in the republican party -- every woman and every man in this
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country ought to be saying, what are you doing? they want a rider that says that women can't get access to cancer screening, can't get access to basic health care that women need. it is unbelievable to me that the united states of america is debating this issue at a time when our economy is hurting and people are worried about their paychecks. that's not what we should be debating today. and it is stunning to me as a woman that that's what they want today. these people came into power in the house by talking about how they were going to get jobs back and get the economy going. they didn't come in saying they were going to eliminate planned parenthood and access to our young women's ability to get health care. i heard from a young woman named maggie, who at a very young age,
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18, left a very abusive home situation. she had cancer, cervical cancer, running in her family, and only because she could get access through planned parenthood to cancer screenings was she able to get the care she needed. they didn't come in saying they were going to eliminate planned parenthood and access to our young women's ability to get health care. i heard from a young woman named maggie, who at a very young age, 18, left a very abusive home situation. she had cancer, cervical cancer, running in her family, and only because she could get access through planned parenthood to cancer screenings was she able to get the care she needed. she is one story of hundreds of thousands. and that's what the house republicans want to shut this government down about? this is wrong. we in the senate are going to stand up, we're going to work to come to an agreement on the numbers. we know how important the economy is. we know how important people's jobs are. but we are not going to allow them to push us into taking away women's rights to health care access in order to keep the government open. insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses.
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[ male announcer ] ask your doctor if cialis for daily use is right for you. for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to cialis.com. oh, c'mon, alan, i said it was great. you said i couldn't make it as easy to manage a claim online as it is on the phone, and i did. i programmed maps of local repair shops, schedule an inspection online. i win the bet, so say it. alan's a technical genius. mmm, what was that? [ alan ] my new ring tone. alan's a technical genius. yes! mm hmm, mm hmm... techies in the hooouse. raise the roof 1999. [ female announcer ] making car repairs easy. see for yourself at esurance. technology when you want it. people when you don't. in tonight's spotlight, donald trump's fake presidential campaign which is now a co-production of nbc and fox news used "the today show" this morning to spout more venomous lies. meredith vieraa asked the star of what is nbc's now highest rated primetime show about his campaign for president, which i
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promise you is not real. >> well, this is very serious. i mean, i always take things seriously, but i have never taken it seriously like this. this is a very serious time in my life. i hate what's happening to the country. i wish i didn't have to do it. i wish this country was running so great, and i wish that obama was the greatest president since abraham lincoln, and i wish this was the greatest place in the world. what we're doing is unbelievable. if you look at what what's going on, where jobs are disappearing to foreign countries. you're going to be paying $7 or $8 a gallon for oil soon. >> do you blame all of this on barack obama? >> i blame a lot of it. it's been a terrible presidency. look at libya. we go in. we don't want to remove gadhafi, but we're going to go fight and this and now nobody knows what's happening. and it looks like gadhafi is going to beat the united states? >> would you as president say, let's get more aggressive? let's put boots on the ground if we have to?
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>> i'm only interested in libya if we keep the oil. if we don't keep the oil, i'm not interested. i don't know who the rebels are. they make the rebels like some beautiful romantic thing. i hear they are al qaeda and backed by iran. where were they getting those weapons? from iran. gadhafi is going to go around saying he won the war against this country. when you ask me what i'd do, i'm only interested in libya if we get the oil. >> all right. so everybody wonders what the obama doctrine is. >> he doesn't have a doctrine. he doesn't have a doctrine. >> would you? what's your doctrine? what would your doctrine be? >> with respect to what? >> foreign affairs. >> foreign affairs is we take care of ourselves first. we don't build schools in afghanistan. we go to afghanistan. we build a road. we build a school. two days later, they blow up the road, they blow up the school, we start building the road and the school again. meantime, we can't build schools in alabama, in new orleans, in texas, in new york, in my place where we are always fighting to
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get school money. we are spending trillions and trillions of dollars. my thing and my doctrine would be build, build, build. >> some positive news for you this new poll, nbc news "wall street journal" poll that shows you surging to second place among potential gop candidates for 2012. where do you think you are connecting with voters? >> i think that i connect with people because i happen to be smart, i happen to have a lot of common sense, i happen to know what i'm doing. i built a great company. and by the way, if i run, i look so forward to filing a declaration, because it's a great company. i built a great company. and i'll make that decision sometime prior to june. >> what are you waiting for? what are you waiting for? >> well, i hate to say it. i have the number one show on nbc. that's a correct statement. i mean, "the apprentice" is doing great. >> what does that have to do with -- >> it has a lot to do.
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it sounds trivial, and i hate to even bring it up, but i'm not allowed to run during the show. you can't have a show on and be a declared candidate. it's a great show, and it's got phenomenal ratings. and until that show is over, i can't declare, because otherwise, nbc would have to take the show off the air, and i think that would be very unfair to nbc. >> recently, you spent a lot of time talking about president obama's birth certificate or lack thereof. you don't seem convinced that he has one. >> no, i'm not convinced that he has one. i've had very smart people say, donald, stay on the china issue, stay on the saudi arabia issue, stay on the india taking our jobs and the mexico, which is nafta, get off the birth certificate issue. >> why don't you? >> because three weeks ago when i started i thought he was born in this country, but now i have doubts bigger than i did before. >> based on what? >> his grandmother in kenya said he was born in kenya and she was there and wiessed the birth, okay? he has a certificate of live
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birth. that's something that's easy to get. when you want a birth certificate, it's difficult to get. >> but considered the equivalent in the state of hawaii. they said they have seen this document. it is evidence he was born in the united states. that's good enough for them. scholars have looked at it. >> a birth certificate is not even close. a certificate of live birth is not even signed by anybody. i saw his. i read it very carefully. doesn't have a serial number. doesn't have a signature. there's not even a signature. >> do you believe he is lying? >> i'm starting to think he was not born here. >> do you believe he's lying? just answer. >> meredith, he spent $2 million in legal fees trying to get away from this issue. and he weren't lying, why wouldn't he just solve it? and i wish he would, because if he doesn't, it's one of the greatest scams in the history of politics and in the history period. you are not allowed to be a president if you're not born in this country. he may not have been born in this country. and i tell you what, three weeks ago i thought he was born in
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this country. now i have doubts. i have had people study it, and they do not believe what they are finding. >> you have people in hawaii? >> absolutely. and they cannot believe what they are finding. i would like to have him show his birth certificate. and can i be honest with you? i hope he can. because if he can't, if he can't, and if he wasn't born in this country, come is a real possibility -- i'm not saying it happened. i'm saying it's a real possibility. much greater than i thought two or three weeks ago. then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics. and beyond politics. >> do you consider yourself a tea partier? >> i think so. i'm very proud -- >> yeah? >> i'm very proud of some of the ideas they put forth. and the big ideas they want to stop this ridiculous, absolutely killer of spending that's going on. what's going on in this country, the way we're spending money like drunken sailors, we are just absolutely going -- and ultimately, we're going to destroy our own freedom.
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>> but they want to stop it even at the cost of shutting down the government. that's a possibility. >> well, excuse me. >> are you in favor of that? >> it's not really shutting down the government. it's cutting costs. the kind of money that you're talking about is peanuts. and i think the tea party has done an amazing service for this country, because people now -- even very liberal democrats -- are starting to think for the first time, well, maybe we can't just keep giving everything away. i think they performed a great service. >> so if there were a partial shutdown of the government come friday, that would be ok with you? >> in my opinion -- you know, i hear the democrats are going to be blamed and the republicans are going to be blamed. i actually think the president would be blamed. if there is a shutdown, and it's not going to be a horrible shutdown because as you know, things will sort of -- >> well, a partial shutdown, right. >> if there is a shutdown, i think it would be a tremendously negative mark on the president of the united states. he's the one that has to get people together. i'm a deal man. i have made hundreds and hundreds of deals and transactions. he has never made deals before.
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how can you expect a guy who is not a deal man, other than frankly becoming president of the united states, he never did a deal, how will he corral all of these people? >> how would you do it now? you're in the oval office now. it's wednesday. >> i would get everybody together, and we'd have a budget. >> they have all gotten together. >> well, that's because they don't have the right leader. you don't have the right leader. this is the president of the united states has to get this done. and i think he probably will. now i don't say he, but i think he and the group probably will get it done, but it's pretty sad because the whole world is looking at us and laughing at us. >> you've criticized obama quite a bit in this interview, and in the past. what do you think he has done well? >> get elected. i think he did a great job with he ran for office. >> that's it? >> well, i think obamacare is a total disaster. i think the thing that he did best -- >> ok. >> best of all is get elected. he got elected.
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he ran an unbelievable campaign. i want him to do well. if i had my choice of having obama do great as a president and do a really great job for this country and not running as opposed to running and doing it -- i would prefer that he did a great job. i love this country. but this country is going to hell. i would run a great, great country. this country will be great again. it is not great right now. we have huge deficits. we have huge unemployment. we have huge problems. and we're not respected. we're not respected in the world. the world laughs at us. they won't be laughing if i'm president. we're not finished with nbc's charlie sheen, donald trump. coming up -- "the washington post's" jonathan kayepart on why donald trump breathes lies, and who profits from those lies. [ woman ] welcome back, jogging stroller.
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i will be better than anybody. i will do the best job. if i decide to run, i will do the best job. i will be best for this country. and you may say, oh, gee, that doesn't sound like george washington. well, guess what? before george washington ran, he didn't sound like george washington either. i will be and do a great job if i run and if i win. >> the ever modest donald trump comparing himself to george washington this morning on nbc's "today show." joining me now msnbc contributor jonathan kayepart. thank you for joining me. >> hey, lawrence. >> i want to take a look at the ratings chart for "the celebrity apprentice." starts off below the 8 million mark.
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it also starts off low in the demo, the audience 18-49, 2.8. as he gets crazier, it goes straight up. he's now above a three in the demo, which is the number nbc cares about the most. it used to be on nbc in primetime you could get a show cancelled off of nbc primetime if you fell below the 3.0. i know. it happened to me. but now that nbc is not the number one network, it desperately needs numbers like this. i have said all along that this fake campaign is about these numbers. it's the only way trump could get attention to his show this time around. this was the way to pump up those numbers. and his paycheck from nbc. >> yeah. there's no denying that, you know, this dance that trump is doing with the american people, with republican primary voters,
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i think has everything to do with whatever his business interests are. "celebrity apprentice" is clearly a business interest of his. and in every interview he has done since playing footsie with the birthers, he mentions his show. i think people are hearing this guy and hearing what he's saying and think, hey, let's watch his show. this is america. people do all sorts of things to get attention, to make money. unfortunately, by dabbling in the birther conspiracy theory, he is doing something more dangerous and more disgusting than making money for his company and for himself. he is ruining the public discourse. he is ruining, you know, trust in the person who is sitting in the oval office, which i think in the long run, if donald trump really cares about this country, he would cease and desist. there's plenty of information out there, facts, which he continues to willingly ignore.
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>> jonathan, take us through the grandmother piece. you at "the washington post," and people can go online and get your column, you take us through every step of this and show us just how much donald trump is lying about it. >> the grandmother piece is interesting because this was debunked back in 2008 when it popped up. and a preacher here in the united states conducted an interview with not barack obama's natural familial grandmother but his step grandmother. his grandfather's second wife. and interviewed her through a translator and over the telephone. and he asks her the question, you know, where was -- were you there when barack obama was born? and through this crazy lost in translation kind of moment, she says, yes, i was there. and in earlier iterations, the tape was cut off there, and that's what spun off this conspiracy theory.
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but this preacher actually did a service by running the entire interview on his website, and it goes through where the translator says, no, no, no. reverend rakay is the guy. and he kept saying when i come to kenya in december, i would love to go to mombasa and see where he was born. and the translator keeps saying, no, no, no, he was born in hawaii. he was not born in kenya. and yet that's been out there. it's been knocked down in december of 2008. >> we have to send viewers to your article online to get all of the details of that. but i think we're at the point now where glenn beck wears out his welcome at fox news over going crazy in these kinds of things. charlie sheen gets kicked off of cbs for saying crazy things. how crazy do you have to be, how many lies do you have to tell, about the president of the united states, how much hate do you have to promote that donald trump has promoted to get

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